Superintendent's Message

February 27th, 2015

 

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s):

As you may be aware, the Illinois State Board of Education has changed the required assessment measurement for Illinois children.  In the past, students (grades 3-8) were administered the ISAT, and juniors were tested with the PSAE & ACT.  Beginning this Spring of 2015, students will now be given a new assessment entitled PAARC.  The PAARC test was created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and is a result of the new Common Core Standards. 

The new assessment brings many changes and potential challenges for our students, staff, and administrators.  Our students (in grades 3-8 & enrolled students in ALG 2/LA 3) will be assessed on two occasions, the first period beginning in March.  The second testing window will occur in late April or early May.  The building principals and/or teaching staff will be notifying you of your child’s testing date and content area.  Also, the majority of our students (with the exception of 3rd and 4th) will be tested utilizing a computer-based format. 

The staff and administration at Grant Park School District #6 have been working diligently to prepare our students for this assessment.  For the past three years, we have implemented strategies and initiatives to align our curriculum effectively with the mandated Common Core Standards.  Without doubt, we expect the assessment to be more difficult in comparison to the ISAT and/or PSAE.  Unfortunately, we anticipate that the PAARC will result in more testing time in comparison to the ISAT and/or PSAE.  The purpose of the first year assessment is to provide “baseline” data to each school district.   At this time, school administrators are not sure how this data will be reported. 

As anticipated, there has been much conversation (and debate) regarding the new assessment (PAARC).  At Grant Park School District #6, we view the new assessment as only one indicator of a child’s academic achievement level.  We ask that our students take the assessment seriously and perform to the best of their abilities.  We understand that some students will have “testing anxiety,” and our staff will make every attempt to provide a calm presence to ease the nervousness.

On behalf of Grant Park School District #6, I appreciate your continued support and cooperation.  I am particularly proud of our individual and district academic achievement levels during the past four years.  Clearly, our academic expectations continue to demonstrate excellence in education.  Our goal has been and will continue to be the same-  to provide an opportunity for a solid educational experience for every student attending District #6. 

If you should have any questions regarding the new PAARC assessment, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Sincerely,

Dr. John Palan

Superintendent, Grant Park #6


Dr. John Palan
Superintendent, Grant Park #6

John Palan